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Letting Agent Lied !!!


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If it's not specified on the AST then the tenant can claim they asked for whatever they want, they're not entitled to do it. If it is on the AST then there's a problem in that you've agreed to let them do it, however, they would probably need planning permission to run that sort of business from home due to the number of visitors etc.

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Ian hi

I am sorry to hear that your new tenancy appears to have gone badly wrong.  It appears that you have two different sides to the story and it may be hard to unravel who really is telling the truth as just because the tenant says they told your agent does not necessarily mean that they did.

Tracking back a bit, what checks did you do on the agent you chose to manage your property?  Did you ask them about the way they reference check their applicants and how they go about filtering out applicants by their application process.  Did you look at the contract that they sign with tenants so that you can check that business use is not permitted.  If the contract states this your tenant would need an addendum to the contract specifically stating that they could run a barber's business from the premises.  If this exists and you were not informed your agent is bang to rights.  Where is your tenant's proof that they asked the question about the business request? 

I think that you also have the right to ask them for all the information that they gathered during the application and referencing process - which they should keep in their records.  You need to see what information they were working from that was supplied by your tenant and also see what the referencing company unearthed about the applicant now your tenant.  It is more likely that your tenant is lying and that they did not reveal their intention.  If there is no record you can insist that the business activity is stopped and you may consider offering the tenant the opportunity to end the tenancy and quit early if you feel there is real risk of damage to your property.

I would also check your agency terms of business contract and see if they are carrying out all the parts of their contractual agreement.  If you feel that this is not the case you need to start a formal complaint process - which they should have published procedures for.  If you are unable to get a reasonable response you should ask them which ombudsman organisation they work under as by law they are required to be part of an ombudsman organisation to which you can escalate your complaint to.  You also need to decide what sort of redress you are looking for - are you looking for financial or practical?  You are unlikely to get much compensation but you may be able to get your costs (or most likely some of your costs) back but unfortunately financial penalties are often weak but you may be able to get the agent struck off from trading.  If you feel your agent really has lied or failed to keep their contractual agreement then you may have grounds to be able to pull out of the agreement but be careful how you go about this as they may have some nasty financial penalty clauses which the unscrupulous may try and hold you to even if they are in the wrong.  It is possible that they will be happy to let you go to try and save themselves hassle but if this does not prove the case I would try using social media and visiting the agency to make others aware of the agency's transgressions but if you choose this route make sure you only state verifiable facts as you do not want to be on the receiving end of slander claims.

With regard to your tenant you can also try and insist that your tenant adheres to the original agreement they signed and also that they return the decor to its original condition.  If not then you may need to hold out until their fixed term period comes to an end and not renew it, hoping that further damage does not occur.  You may need to be prepared to take on the agency for paying for any remedial work not done by the tenant and also ensure that any deposit taken is withheld and if necessary a dispute resolution is sought.

As this is all fairly onerous and may need some expert assistance it may be worth seeking out a decent,qualified agent who can give some on the scene advice and assistance with taking the property on and getting the letting process back on track.  Don't seek out the cheapest but find out what their skill levels are.  You are better employing a decent agent who may charge a slightly higher fee but save you £££s by doing it right.  RICS or ARLA Propertymark agencies have to adhere to industry standards and tend to be head and shoulders above the rest.  If they are not part of these organsiations then you need to ask why and check that they are fully compliant and have good standards.

I hope this gives a little bit of help and good luck?

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